I have never been more proud of this country than I’ve been these past few weeks.
Correction – over two decades ago we transitioned into a free democracy in a manner that many across the world thought would be impossible. It was then that I knew – this is a country to be proud of…and also a country kept in the palm of God’s hands. So many people are praying for this country – have been for decades – and these times of crises prove that there’s a Power at work that is carrying us through.
So, let’s face it: it’s in our blood (ALL of our blood) to survive, to do the unimaginable…to live above the standard the rest of the world often sets.
And now we face COVID-19.
COVID-19: The Challenge
For so many of us it meant a change of lifestyle, income, family dynamics and so much more. It has called our frontline workers to go beyond the call of duty. I commend you all: each citizen, for doing your part. And if you didn’t #stayathome…I forgive you 😉 #flattenthecurve people!!!
The New Challenge
But now we face another battle: negativity.
For weeks we’ve seen positive Facebook posts, inspiring stories and online challenges, enough to bolster people’s spirits.
But over the past few days I’ve started seeing the ‘vibe’ change online. Messages have gone from support to criticism. Complaints and stories about ungrateful communities are starting to make their way up the Facebook feeds, instead of the reports about the ones giving their time and resources to help those who are in need.
I’m not going to give those stories any airtime here. I simply want to come and remind us, South Africans, what we’re made of so we can keep on acting the way we should.
What Type of South African Will You be?
Let’s Work WITH, not AGAINST
Am I asking you to stick your head in the ground and not acknowledge that there are problems? No.
But it’s all about the attitude we do it with. Writing snide remarks about harsh regulations won’t really help anyone will it? All it sparks is negativity. Will you look for ways to better situations in your local community or simply have a rant on Facebook because you think it will make you feel better. BTW: It won’t!
Political parties are there to challenge each other, but once again I don’t appreciate sarcastic comments and criticism of a government who has done an amazing job at keeping us safe. There’s no one perfect way of managing this. There’s no handbook. But I KNOW our leaders are doing the best they can and praying for them in this time is vital. Politicians – if you can’t be constructive, please find another job.
Where do You Get Your Mindset from?
Of course you’re watching news at the moment. Whether you’re watching out of curiosity or the need for knowledge about the global situation, voices from around the world enter your consciousness via your phone and TV.
Now, what are those voices doing to your mind?
Certain first world countries have been all over the news with leadership not being able to agree on the best way forward. Presidents face off against their own local leaders and use childish ploys like Twitter to instigate conflict between citizens and authorities.
I am deeply thankful that I’m a citizen of THIS country. But now we all have to guard against taking on those countries’ mindsets. What you SEE and HEAR affects how you feel. Many of us are likely to pick up that ‘vibe’ of discontent and frustration even if it’s happening thousands of kilometres away.
So, will you allow another country to determine how you feel here and break the trust & sense of community that have sustained South Africans for weeks?
In this time, trust is vital if we as a country want to finish this race in the best way possible.
Keep the Faith…Until the END
When the South African lockdown started I was overcome – literally in tears at times – to see how we as a country came together. We supported our president’s decision, we promised to help each other through this and we were all the voice of reason & positivity for one another.
That in itself was a miracle as big as what our country saw happen in 1994 (but that’s a whole article for another day).
And now we’re almost four weeks down the line.
Here’s my challenge to you: are you going to help us finish the way we started? Are we going to keep the faith – in Him and each other – until the day we can all venture outside again?
The alternative is to allow frustration – normal after being cooped up for 4 weeks – and other countries’ bad attitudes to ruin this whole experience for us.
I know you’re tired. I know you worry about your business, your family and the future. But we will not get through this properly if we start grumbling now.
We are STILL the South Africans of a few weeks ago.
If you have an idea, let’s work on it.
If you see a story – decide whether sharing it will have good or bad consequences for the scenario at large.
If you have an opinion, dissect it – which parts of that opinion will help us as a country flourish and which parts will simply be spreading negativity with no good results at all?
If you know about something that’s simply not right – ask assistance about what way forward instead of telling everyone how horrible this country is.
It’s not all fun and games, but we’re better off than many others in the world at the moment.
AND FOR GOODNESS’ SAKE PEOPLE – DON’T TAKE ANYTHING FOR GRANTED!
The Long Walk Ahead
It’s all about HOW we go about living these last few days in lockdown.
And then the big rebuild begins.
I don’t know about you, but I want to be in a positive mindset when that starts because we’re going to need all the physical AND emotional energy we can muster to work through the next few months.
But then there’s God.
We were not given a spirit of fear – we’ve faced the worst a country can face and survived
We were given a spirit of power – we will rebuild what was lost during the pandemic
We were given a spirit of love – let’s keep on showing this to each other
We were given a spirit of a SOUND MIND – let’s CHOOSE the mindset and attitude we will take on during the last days of lockdown and the months ahead, instead of following the chaos we see in other countries.